Sweet and savory dishes to share during the holidays

–by Jennifer Ruple

Members of the Arrowhead Park Association were treated to a cooking demonstration and samples of holiday fare during the group’s quarterly membership meeting held at Clara J’s Tea Room, 219 W. Wayne St. in Maumee on Nov. 28.

Gretchen Fayerweather, owner of Clara J’s and culinary instructor at Owens Community College, shared three of her go-to holiday party recipes and provided directions on how to prepare the appetizer, side dish and dessert.

Festive Zucchini, Red Pepper and Cheese Tarte
Serves 12 – 20 guests
8 ounces havarti cheese, sliced
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 red bell pepper, diced
Dried basil and oregano

Heat oven to 400 F. Slice cheese into squares about the same size as zucchini, quarter slices.

Place sheets of pastry on cutting board and line up zucchini slices. Use a knife or pizza cutter to slice rows. Sprinkle each square with red pepper, basil and oregano and place the quarter cheese slices on top.
Place squares on a parchment lined baking sheet with space in between each square.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy.

Jasmine Rice in Pomegranate Oolong Tea
6 servings
2 ½ tablespoons Pomegranate Oolong tea leaves
2 cups water
1 cup jasmine rice
¼ cup pecan halves
¼ cup pomegranate
1 green onion, chopped
Sat to taste

Bring water to a boil. Steep tea leaves in paper filter or wire mesh filter in water for 3 minutes.

Place rice in saucepan and add tea. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer.
Cover and cook about 20 minutes, or until rice is done. Add salt to taste.
Toast pecans in 350 F oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Garnish with toasted pecans, green onion and pomegranate. Stir to combine.

Goat Cheese Mousse with Balsamic Glaze
Serves 12-15
9 ounces goat cheese
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
Salt to taste
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 box ginger snaps
2 ounces balsamic glaze
12 thyme sprigs

In a bowl, whisk goat cheese, powdered sugar, honey, minced thyme and salt until blended.

In another bowl, whisk the heavy cream until peaks form.
Fold cream into the cheese mixture. Chill for 45 minutes.
Place in a piping bag and pipe onto gingersnaps.
To finish, drizzle with balsamic glaze and thyme sprigs.

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